PR Week: PR and Digital Media conference

25 06 2010

I attended this PR Week conference  this week and would like to talk about this from two different angles. 1) my key take-aways from the event in terms of content, and 2) some examples of good and bad practice I noticed from the speakers in terms of the delivery of their presentations.

Key take-aways:

  • AVE as a metric is dead (this is no surprise to most but I was amazed it was included in a speaker’s presentation!)
  • Need to get digital and social media involved in the planning stage for large campaigns – can’t go to the digital team at the end of the planning and ask them to ‘socialise’ or ‘digitise’ something.
  • This is from an agency perspectice, but many brands are still hungry for knowledge about social media and digital and for some there is still a long way to go to educate them. A colleague who has just done a 8-month stint in-house thinks this is because many brands don’t have regular access to the same intelligence that agencies do.
  • There is a fear of social media due to the worry that it will go wrong – no doubt due in part to the high profile social media disasters that are picked up and covered widely in the mainstream media. Crisis management is a big issue and there were two very good and candid presentations from Mary Walsh, Director of Comms for Eurostar and Stuart Ross, Director of News for Transport for London.
  • Control of social media – discussion over who owns it in an org – marketing, comms, customer services, sales, etc. Also an issue of control – legal departments often quash ambitious campaigns.  Advice was that involving legal teams in the planning stage gets them on board easier.

Good and bad practice:

  • I won’t name names but there were examples of great presenters, and not so great. Also slide presentation differed greatly. 
  • One speaker’s slides were so full of text that I lost track of what message he was trying to get across. He moved on to the next slide when I was still reading the second paragraph – yes…I said PARAGRAPH! I took a photo of his slides on my iPhone to document it – that’s the photo at the top of this post. By contrast, another speaker used mainly images and it was much easier to follow.
  • One guy shunned PPT in favour of a something called which worked well and was a nice change – bravo.
  • Finally, most were good with this, but some went on a little too long explaining what they did before getting into the content of the discussion.